Learn what the MBTA’s network redesign means for Waltham

MBTA Better Bus Network:
New connections, more service, more frequency.
See what this means for Waltham. 

Public transportation remains an essential part of our lives, from getting us safely to school, work, important medical appointments, or running daily errands.  One of the most important components of the Commonwealth’s public transportation system is the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Agency’s (MBTA) bus network which provides service to over 400,000 riders each day, including thousands in Waltham.

Back in 2018, the MBTA embarked on a complete redesign of their bus network, the Better Bus Project, to ensure the system reflects the updated travel needs of the communities within MBTA’s service area and creates a better experience for current and future riders.  These proposed changes to the Bus Network are some of the most significant alterations to occur in Massachusetts in over 100 years, prioritizing both access and equity for riders in transit-critical communities.  This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make real improvements to the bus network for the people who depend on it most.

The MBTA will be releasing a DRAFT map of the re-designed bus network today (click image above).  Now it is your turn to participate, by providing feedback on the MBTA’s proposed changes.  For specific changes for Waltham, please click here. 

Highlights for Waltham:

  • New, high-frequency connection to Watertown, Allston, Central Square, and Kendall/MIT on extended and simpler Route T70, with service every 15 minutes!
  • MBTA estimates 8,000 more residents will be provided with faster, frequent service to Kendall Square!
  • Express connection to both Back Bay and Downtown on Route 505!
  • Big increase (260%) in Sunday Service!
  • New weekend connections to Riverside, Belmont, and Arlington!
  • New Sunday service to Brandeis/Roberts, Beaver Street, Moody Street, and High Street!

Overall, the key benefits of the entire Bus Network Redesign include:

  • 25% increase in bus service across the entire network
  • 70% increase in weekend service
  • 275,000 more residents near high frequency service (Every 15 minutes)
  • 115,000 residents of color gain access to high frequency service
  • 40,000 low-income households gain access to high frequency service

To help solicit feedback from riders, the MBTA is holding a series of virtual public input meetings.  For Waltham residents, I would highly recommend attending the MetroWest Region meeting scheduled for 6:00pm on June 28, 2022.  In Waltham, there is increased demand to extend the Route 73 bus from Waverley Square in Belmont trough Trapelo Road where there is currently no service.  While I have conveyed this feedback to the MBTA, the more they hear from members of the community the better!  The MetroWest Region meeting will be the best opportunity for you to weigh in with the MBTA on this and other proposed changes to the bus network.  You can register for the MetroWest Region meeting here.

If you cannot make that meeting, you are more than welcome to sign-up and register for these additional public input meetings:

  • May 19, 2022, 6:00 PM | Systemwide Virtual Public Meeting: Register for the meeting
  • June 16, 2022, 6:00 PM |”Inner Core” Region Virtual Public Meeting: Register for the meeting
  • July 19, 2022, 6:00 PM | Systemwide Open House: Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building, Boston, MA
  • MBTA staff will be available to answer questions about the draft network map and take comments.
  • July 26, 2022, 6:00 PM |Virtual Systemwide Public Hearing: Register for the hearing
  • July 28, 2022, 6:00 PM | Systemwide Public Hearing: Transportation Building, 2nd Floor, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, MA